Classic Haute Route Day 6 – Schönbiel Hut to Zermatt

This being the final day meant we could take things a lot easier, we had a nice lay in and didn’t have breakfast until 7 am. We paid up which was ~CHF400 for 3 of us with a few beers the previous afternoon and got ready to leave. We said farewells to a few others leaving before us whom we’d met on the route i the huts over the previous days. Our bags felt quite heavy today as they had everything inside this time rather than wearing harnesses etc added to the exhaustion from the previous days walking.

The route down from the hut to Zermatt was very straight forward just following the marked path over glacier moraine, through grassy parts and finally into the pine forest. There are a number of signs which show 2 routes to Zermatt, strangely the only difference being the direction of the train on the sign! We took the shorter option, which is straight down the valley rather then an up and over route ending up further north in the town.

Path signpost with times
Two choices of how long you wanted to take to get to Zermatt

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Classic Haute Route Day 1 – Bourg St. Pierre to Valsorey Hut


To start with a bit of a background, a group of us have been heading to the mountains for around 8 years now, whether or be for alpine trekking or via Ferrata. We started in the Pyrenees with Aneto and have done a trip most years including, Chamonix, Saas Fee, Jungfrau and the Dolomites. Around a year ago one of the group suggested the Classic Alpine Haute Route, this is a multi day hut to hut trip rather than the hut to summit trips we have mainly done up till now. I decided that this sounded like a good experience and challenge, 3 of us out of the group were able to make it.

The idea of this blog is to put together some more recent information on our trip for anyone else who might be considering doing it. I found it quite hard to find up-to-date information on the web, unlike most other trips we have done. We were armed with Peter Cliff’s ‘The Haute Route’ [Amazon] book but this was last revised in 2006 and a lot has changed since then, this was a useful guide although it did seem to dedicate a lot more time to the winter ski route. There was also a lot of info on the web about the winter route and the low level walking route; however we did find these to blogs by David Mercer and this fairly detailed alpine guide’s site by Cosley & Houston.

The Classic Haute Route traditionally goes from Chamonix to Champex then with a short bus/transfer through a lower valley to continue the route to Zermatt. Due to work holiday time constraints we decided it was best to miss out the Chamonix to Champex part and opted to start on day 3 in the guide book from Bourg St. Pierre and follow the route to Zermatt. The rest of this post and the following entries describe the route and how we went, including route profiles and a smoothed GPX of the route we took should it come in useful to anyone else.

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